ALBUQUERQUE – The NMAA announced late Wednesday night (March 11) that the remainder of the State Basketball Championships will be played "without fans" in attendance.
This announcement was made with the guidance of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham as well as the New Mexico Department of Health, the NMAA said.
The news from the NMAA comes on the same day the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a "pandemic," and after the NBA and NCAA took actions concerning their league and tournament going forward.
It also happened to be the same day Lujan Grisham declared a "public health emergency" as there were reported cases of COVID-19 in the state.
While fans won't be allowed to attend, the games will still go on as scheduled.
That includes a big matchup early tomorrow morning between No. 1 Peñasco and No. 4 Lordsburg in the semifinals of the Girls 2A bracket at the Santa Ana Star Center.
Peñasco head coach Mandy Montoya said that the news hasn't necessarily had a big impact on her team going forward and that winning a state championship is still the main focus.
"Obviously a little bit different," Montoya said on Wednesday night after the news broke. "We are still focused on the game."
Montoya said it was one of those situations that is beyond her control.
"It is one of the situations out of our control," she said. "Of course we want to make history in front of our fans but the games still go on as planned."
Montoya had mentioned to her team early on the possibility that the state games could be played without fans, she said. But it didn't bother them much.
Peñasco tips off against Lorsdsburg tomorrow at 8 a.m.
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